Monte Carlo simulation in PET and SPECT instrumentation using GATE
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Nuclear instruments and methods in physics research: A: accelerators, spectrometers, detectors and associated equipment
, p. 180-189
Monte Carlo simulation is an essential tool to assist in the design of new medical imaging devices for emission tomography. On one hand, dedicated Monte Carlo codes have been developed for PET and SPECT. However, they suffer from a variety of drawbacks and limitations in terms of validation, accuracy, and/or support. On the other hand, accurate and versatile simulation codes such as Geant3, EGS4, MCNP, and recently Geant4 have been written for high energy physics. They all include well-validated physics models, geometry modeling tools and efficient visualization utilities. Nevertheless these packages are quite complex and necessitate a steep learning curve. GATE, the Geant4 Application for Tomographic Emission, encapsulates the Geant4 libraries in order to achieve a modular, versatile, scripted simulation toolkit adapted to the field of nuclear medicine. In particular, GATE allows the users to describe time-dependent phenomena such as detector movements or source decay kinetics, thus allowing to simulate time curves under realistic acquisition conditions. At present, it is being further developed and validated within the OpenGATE Collaboration. We give a succinct overview of GATE and four examples of its validation against real data obtained with PET and SPECT cameras.